Domestic Violence and Arbitration
Arbitration is the process of settling a dispute between two parties unable to reach an agreement in mediation, can be a difficult process when domestic violence is involved. An arbitrator must be trained in screening for domestic violence and power imbalances to ensure the safety of the parties he or she represents. Domestic violence is a serious matter that the arbitrator will address to make sure arbitration proceedings go smoothly.
Screening for Domestic Violence
Parties involved in arbitration must be interviewed separately by an arbitrator or someone who is trained to recognize signs of domestic violence or power imbalances in a relationship. People involved in arbitration may be subject to domestic violence and issues of power and control. Domestic violence, which can be physical or psychological, can threaten the safety and health of parties involved in arbitration.
The screener may be your arbitrator, a social worker, a psychologist or other mental health worker. A lawyer representing a party in an arbitration or giving legal advice can be a screener as well.
It is the job of the screener to determine whether or not a party is fit to participate in the arbitration process. If the arbitrator has reason to believe the consent of either party to arbitrate is not genuine, they should not continue arbitration proceedings. There is no advised screening method for family arbitration, but methods exist that can be modified to fit it.
If the screener determines a person’s safety may be compromised during the arbitration proceedings, they must take precautions to ensure the well-being of that party before arbitration can begin.
Domestic Violence and the Arbitration Process
In arbitration, the arbitrator makes informed decisions based on the law of Alberta. The arbitrator is able to safeguard any victim of domestic violence or issues of power and control because they make the final decisions. It is considered an offense if an arbitrator does not report a suspected case of domestic violence.
Disclaimer: The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.